Wrap tops are a classic we see every season. This season they are abundant, because the waist definition works well with oh-so trendy wide cropped pants, culottes, flares, and fuller skirts. The versions that are defined at the waist complement the high rise trend because the waists are in the same place. 

I think of the wrap top as a ‘70s star although it featured well before that decade too. There are four types of wrap tops, three of which define the waist:

  1. Classic wrap tops that are hip bone length or longer with a tie at the waist.
  2. Cropped ballet wrap tops that sit on or above the waist. Fits can be body-con, tailored or fluid.
  3. Faux wrap tops that are usually fitted, and sometimes fluid.
  4. Wrap-front tops that are very fluid and surrender the waist.

The collection below showcases the four versions across assorted fabrics, colours, patterns and sleeve lengths.

J.Crew
Wrap top in oxford
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1
J.Crew
Wrap top with collar
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4
Mango
Wrap Bow T-shirt
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Top Pick
4
Talbots
Faux-Wrap Top
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Top Pick
3
Lane Bryant
Poplin Wrap Top
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Top Pick
1
Hobbs
Clarissa Wrap Top
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Top Pick
5
Nordstrom
City Chic Wrap Top
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Top Pick
1
Shopbop
No.6 Kelly Wrap Top
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Top Pick
4
Nordstrom
City Chic Wrap Top
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Top Pick
1
Nordstrom
Chelsea28 Wrap Top
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Top Pick
2
Boden
Elodie Wrap Top
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Top Pick
8
Boden
Long Sleeve Wrap Top
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Top Pick
9
Boden
Wrap Jersey Top
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Top Pick
6
Nordstrom
1901 Wrap Blouse
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Top Pick
3
Nordstrom
1901 Wrap Blouse
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Top Pick
5

On to to the pros and cons.

Good

  • Most wrap tops create a sensational V-neckline that works well on shorter necks, fuller bustlines, and broader shoulders
  • They define the waist and streamline the body thereby creating traditionally flattering proportions
  • They are fab on curvy body types
  • They elongate petites
  • They shorten a very long waist
  • They are worn over bottoms so there is no need to tuck or semi-tuck
  • Faux wraps are handy to layer under jackets and cardigans
  • Cropped ballet versions are a slam dunk combination with flared skirts
  • Fluid wrap-front versions have architectural appeal and are a good look for those who are short-waisted and/or want to conceal midsection bits
  • They can look gorgeously soft and pretty

Bad

  • Wrap tops can create an unflattering, impractical and uncomfortable fit over the bust when they’re not cut exactly right
  • V-necklines can be too low and fall open, although you could try a cami or adding a snap
  • V-necklines can be wide and unflattering on those who don’t wear them well
  • The ties of real wraps can be fussy, too long, and get in the way of toppers
  • The tie can accentuate a short waist
  • Wrap-front versions can overwhelm a small frame and narrow shoulders, and slide around the body
  • They sometimes look overly classic

Generally, the wrap top is like the little girl with the curl. When it’s good, it’s VERY good. But when it’s bad, it’s horrid. And that’s exactly how my clients feel about it. The intermittent reinforcement of finding an absolutely fabulous wrap top once in a while keeps the silhouette on their radar.

I don’t wear V-necks well unless the V-shape is created by a collared shirt or blouse, so that keeps me away from most wrap tops. Sometimes the V’s are very shallow or raised at the shoulder neck points which improves proportions for my body type. I also like some of the newer versions with high necklines. I fancy the structure of the tie at the waist and don’t find it fussy. I used to have gorgeous wraps with shallow V-necks made of mesh, and have worn cropped body-con ballet wrap tops with skirts.

When the right wrap top comes my way, I love it. How about you?

Eloquii Wrap Top with Flutter Sleeve